US Cities with Needle Syringe Programs Have Fewer Publically Discarded Needles than Cities without NSPs.
Opponents of NSPs often claim that the injection supplies provided by NSPs will be discarded unsafely in public spaces. This US based study wanted to see if this was in fact true. The study compared San Francisco, where distribution sites are legal, and Miami, where distribution sites are illegal. Findings strongly suggest the opposite is true.
The study showed:
• San Francisco had 11 publically discarded needles during the study period, while Miami had 328
• 11% of San Francisco interviewees reported having discarded syringes in public space in previous 30 days, compared to 69% in Miami
• 65% of San Francisco interviewees reported having discarded syringes unsafely in previous 30 days, compared to 95% in Miami
• The primary safe method of disposal were discarding needle/syringes at Needle Syringe Site (62% of interviewees from San Francisco, 0% from Miami)
• In San Francisco 8,474 out of 64,259 syringes (13%) were reportedly disposed of unsafely, of which 718 (1%) were discarded in a public space. In Miami, 9845 out of 10,379 (95%) of syringes were reportedly disposed of unsafely, of which 4689 (45%) were discarded in a public space
• Injection drug users in Miami were 34 times more likely to discard syringes in public spaces than those in San Francisco.
Conclusion: Needle Syringe Distribution programs are a significant means of collecting used supplies and do not increase the amount of publically disposed syringes.
For more information – click here